This is the place where everything that Super Tectonics is thinking about, talking about, seeing, doing, listening to, creating and so on gets documented.

52: 23 - Tall Timber

Name: Tall Timber
Address: 60 Commercial Rd Prahran, Victoria.
Served By: Spiro & Georgia

I remember seeing Tall Timber for the first time. Team Super Tectonics were driving through Prahran at dusk and out of nowhere we saw a tall bearded man in shop front wearing a dark knitted jumper and book in hand, reading to a small huddled crowd of cool kids. Spoken word it seemed was alive and well on the South Side.* We then promptly forgot about it the next time we drove past the shop front we went “Hey, that spoken word place is actually a café?!?”. So we went there, drank coffee and Project 52’d it for you.

So what’s good about Tall Timber?

It’s located within a damn fine building. Positioned on the coveted corner block of a series of terrace shop fronts, Tall Timber is a sophisticated intervention.  The building has a great character externally and this character continues to drip from the walls when you walk in the front door.

The afternoon winter sun that floods the cafe is spectacular, and being there just before closing time is the perfect time. It’s not busy, the light is amazing and you can just sit and let your eye wander over all the textures. The interior palette has an honesty of materials with beautiful timber, printed brickwork and simple greys. In true hospitality style, everything has taken a beating, but the materials reassure you with their aged skin - a worn concrete floor, paint flaking timber, crumbling brick-work.

For all your furniture nerds out there, the iconic Bentwood chair is given a facelift with a painted onesie, making it’s lower legs stick out like socks and this is a nice take on a well known classic that modernises Tall Timbers style. Add to this the ridiculously gorgeous and super fine leather seat pads, and the bench seats in the shopfront windows become comfortable perching points for hours.

The beautiful furniture selections hold their own against the brilliant custom joinery. Powder coated steel tubular systems sit proud of timber panelling in an expressed framing detail that celebrates their edges. Whilst the large communal table is somewhat privatised with the great placement of ashen grey floral in the centre recess.

The height of the space is pacified with a Quaker style furniture rail that is put to good use along one side of the café with hanging chairs, timber boxes and storage for various items.  It counters the sparsity of the opposing wall that is broken up with three industrial wall mounted paper rolls – with their brown paper scribble with the specials of the day or featured morsels.

The tiled front counter sits proudly adorned with a landscape of delicious treats cascading over one another, whilst the pass window through to the kitchen is framed with a smattering of lineal shelves covered in this, and that and what not – a perfect backdrop to a beautifully elongated space.

Lastly the Tall Timber Branding is just plain lovely. It’s tall and it looks like timber. It not simply hand drawn, it’s illustrated. Placed perfectly on an amazing suspended timber box framed sign out the front, and then above the entry glass door. Staring at its lankiness, makes you appreciate fine lettering.

What could be better about Tall Timber?

Listen, there isn’t much because Tall Timber does everything really well - including their great aprons and backyard seating area. But if we had to pick one thing (regrettably), due to all the hard surfaces it can get pretty noisy in the space. It’s not bad enough to be an issue, but the Tall Timber creative minds could potentially look at integrating some acoustic ceiling panels if it becomes a major issue.

What’s its thing?

For a building that already has a whole lot of character, it’s great to see Interior Design that compliments the existing character rather than trying to outshine it or take centre stage. You can see the stories in Tall Timber, on the walls, through the windows, better yet, even hear it via spoken word!

Defining Design Details

  • Great signage – that amazing font within a timber border *design drool*
  • Daily specials on big rolls of brown paper – cheap and cute and makes you feel like a local.
  • Bathrooms that are acknowledged – DAMN TT! Where did you get those Mirrors from?
  • Leather seat pads – slimline and tidy, so much better than puffy cushions.
  • Rod like Shelving system – from hanging chairs, to boxes and aprons, it’s flexible, functional and looks damn good.

Just stop what you are doing and go visit this beautiful space; it’s completely worth it.

*Please note, Super Tectonics can not confirm if it was in fact spoken word happening that memorable night, but through our amazing skills of deduction and based on the amount of long hair and beards present, we strongly believe it was.